Russian souvenirs

Russian Souvenirs – Gzhel


Gzhel is a kind or Russian ceramics of white-blue color , produced in the village of present Moscow region area ( around 60 km from Moscow ) , called Gzhel . The development of pottery production started in this area in the 14-Th century in times of Ivan Kalita . First , potters worked privately , but then started to unite into big workshops . Later , 27 villages united in one big district which produced pottery. After the finding of white clay by Kulikov , the production of porcelain started . In the 16th century, by the decree of Alexey Mikhailovich , it was used for pharmacy and alchemical vessels and under Empress Elizabeth – for the first porcelain factory in Russia. In the 1830-s , the Gzhel potters developed faïence .They followed the development of faïence with the acquisition of porcelain.

Originally Gzhel items were made multicolored , but in the 19 century the fashion on white-blue porcelain came from Europe and China with appearance of cobalt . Gzhel followed European traditions and kept this style until nowadays . In the late 19 Th century all Gzhel factories were concentrated in the hand of merchant of those days Kuznetsov , but after the revolution all factories were nationalized . Only in 1930-s , the Art of  Gzhel  was  restored and production restarted . In the XX century the half of porcelain and faïence production of the Soviet Union was located in a town Gzhel .

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